How to Install an Electrical Outlet in Tile Backsplash

Installing an electrical outlet in a tile backsplash can add convenience and aesthetic appeal to your kitchen. However, working with electricity and tiles requires proper planning and caution. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to safely install an outlet in tile backsplash.

Determine the Location

  • Consider proximity to countertop appliances like a coffeemaker or toaster oven. Do not install above or near a sink or stove.
  • Ensure the outlet will be accessible and not blocked by large appliances.
  • Check for studs or blocking to secure the outlet box. Use a stud finder to locate studs.

Gather the Necessary Materials

You will need:

  • Electrical outlet box
  • Wire strippers
  • Voltage tester
  • Wall tiles
  • Tile adhesive
  • Grout
  • Caulk
  • Electrical tape
  • Drywall saw
  • Utility knife
  • Screws
  • Wire nuts
  • Faceplate

Ensure the outlet box is rated for wet locations. A water-resistant GFCI outlet is recommended.

Turn Off Power and Install the Outlet Box

  • Shut off power at the circuit breaker. Use a voltage tester to confirm it is off.
  • Cut a hole in the drywall where the outlet will go using a drywall saw.
  • Secure the outlet box to a stud or blocking using screws.
  • Feed the electrical wires into the box, leaving 6 inches of wire.

Make the Electrical Connections

  • Strip the ends of the wires using wire strippers.
  • Connect the ground wire to the green screw on the outlet.
  • Connect the white neutral wire to the silver screw.
  • Connect the black hot wire to the gold screw.
  • Secure wires with wire nuts and electrical tape.

Mount the Outlet

  • Position the outlet in the box with the screw holes aligned.
  • Secure it with the long screws provided.
  • Attach the faceplate cover.

Tile the Backsplash

  • Apply thinset mortar to the wall area around the outlet with a trowel.
  • Cut tile to fit around the outlet. Use nippers to notch corners.
  • Press tiles into the mortar. Allow to dry per thinset instructions.
  • Apply grout between the tiles and wipe off excess. Allow to dry.

Caulk and Seal the Outlet

  • Apply a bead of silicone caulk around the edges of the outlet.
  • Allow caulk to dry completely.
  • Turn power back on and use a voltage tester to confirm it works.

Installing an outlet in tile backsplash requires planning and care. Follow safety procedures and refer to local building codes. With patience and the proper materials, you can add convenient, seamless power options.

Frequently Asked Questions About Installing an Outlet in Tile Backsplash

Is it safe to install an outlet behind a tile backsplash?

Yes, it is safe if proper precautions are taken. Use an outlet rated for wet locations, make sure wiring is correct, caulk around edges, and follow local building codes. GFCI outlets provide extra protection from shocks.

How do I cut the tile around the electrical box?

Use a rotary tool or tile nippers to precisely cut L-shaped notches to fit closely around the outlet box. Take care not to nick the wires. The tile edges should be snug to the box before applying thinset mortar.

Can I install the outlet box on drywall rather than the stud?

No, the box must be securely fastened to a stud or blocking behind the drywall to properly support the outlet’s weight and Wire connections. Cutting through drywall alone does not provide enough strength.

What kind of outlet box should be used?

Use a recessed outlet box with a tile backplate, rated for wet locations. A weatherproof box provides protection from moisture. Make sure the box has room for wire connections and devices.

Should a GFCI outlet be installed in a kitchen backsplash?

Yes, GFCI (ground-fault circuit interrupter) outlets are highly recommended for kitchen outlets located near water sources like a sink. GFCIs provide protection from electric shocks for added safety.


Installing an outlet in a tile backsplash allows you to seamlessly incorporate power options in your kitchen design. Pay close attention to safety and proper technique when working with electrical and tiling around the outlet box. With the right materials and patience, you can add an outlet that provides both aesthetic appeal and practical access to electricity right where you need it. Be sure to refer to local codes and disconnect power during the installation for safety.